i believe in suni lee's supremacy pic.twitter.com/soaVoer3PD
— ??7 (@sophimochi) July 25, 2021
"This routine is just off the charts fantastic!"
— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) July 28, 2021
Suni, you did it! Olympic. All. Around. Champion. ??
— Nastia Liukin (@NastiaLiukin) July 29, 2021
U.S. gymnast Sunisa Lee's father after his daughter won gold: "Is this real?"
— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) July 29, 2021
… Sunisa Lee captured the women’s all-around gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday, a triumph that wowed all of Minnesota but carried special resonance in the state’s close-knit Hmong American community, one of the largest in the United States.
“I can’t find the words to express how happy we are, how important that was to me and my family and to the whole Hmong community throughout the world,” John Lee, father of one of the brightest lights now in Tokyo, told The Associated Press. “We never expected gold, but she came through. She did it.”
That she did, and dozens of her family and friends gathered early in the morning at a suburban St. Paul event center to watch the gymnastics broadcast from Tokyo.
Sunisa Lee got an opening when reigning Olympic champion Simone Biles withdrew from the all-around competition to focus on her mental health. There was nervous silence at the watch party as Lee turned in a brilliant set on uneven bars, a nervy performance on beam and a well-executed floor exercise…
Also at the celebration was state Rep. Kaohly Vang Her, of St. Paul, whose daughter, Ayden Her, trained with Lee at Midwest Gymnastics for 10 years. Her said the girls in the group, who have stuck together over the years, were all elite athletes — Ayden Her will be a diver at the University of Minnesota this fall. But Lee, she said, was “special from the minute you saw her.”
Many Hmong, who fought for the U.S. in Laos during the Vietnam War, resettled in Minnesota. Patriotism runs deep in the community, fueling the joy over Lee’s success. Her said that’s because the Hmong were oppressed in every other country where they have lived, including Laos and China, and sought opportunity in America.
“Every other Hmong person who has done something as a first is literally living out the dreams of our ancestors,” she said…
Nobody’s gonna say this on camera, but if Simone Biles hadn’t had the courage to step back when she did, most major media stories would have included a bare Also, Suni Lee… paragraph below the fold. Even — especially — if Biles had missed medaling, or (goddess forfend) sustained a serious injury. Lee knows it, and Biles knows it, and they’re both fine with the fact…
one of the many cool things about the women's gymnastics team is how, like, wildly supportive they all are of each other https://t.co/UGpX32dIRP
— Gerry Doyle (@mgerrydoyle) July 29, 2021
Positive reactions, all the way down!
“I feel really proud of myself.” American gymnast Jade Carey learned she would be competing in the women’s Olympic all-around final just one day earlier, after Simone Biles stepped out for mental health reasons. #Tokyo2020 https://t.co/6Nwcol35gw
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 30, 2021
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) July 29, 2021